France says 'no theory ruled out' on missing EgyptAir flight

19th May 2016, Comments 0 comments

France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Thursday "no theory can be ruled out" in the missing EgyptAir flight which crashed en route to Cairo from Paris.

Relatives of the passengers arrived at a crisis centre in a hotel near Paris Charles de Gaulle airport from where the flight had taken off hours earlier with 66 people on board.

President Francois Hollande called his Egyptian counterpart and the leaders agreed to "cooperate closely" to establish what happened to the plane, which crashed into the Mediterranean near Greece.

Hollande also called a crisis meeting of top ministers, including Valls, the foreign, defence and interior ministers.

Some relatives of the victims -- who included 15 French citizens -- were seen arriving at the emergency centre at Charles de Gaulle, Paris's main airport.

They will be cared for by psychologists as well as representatives of the airline and the Egyptian embassy.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said EgyptAir would put on a flight later in the day for any relatives wishing to fly to Cairo.

Ayrault said his team was working with Egypt embassy officials to gather information on the plane's disappearance.

"We have offered aerial and maritime assistance," he told reporters.

"We must be very prudent with hypotheses (on the cause of the crash)," he said, urging respect for the families' grief.

The Egyptian military said it had deployed search aircraft and naval vessels to scour the Mediterranean for signs of the crashed Airbus A320.

An EgyptAir official said the search was focused on an area of sea north of the Egyptian coast, without providing a precise location.

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© 2016 AFP

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